While some observers (Stuart Rothenberg, Nate Silver) have expressed skepticism about the notion that Cruzian intransigence will hurt Republicans at the polls in 2014 and 2016, others are giddily imagining a significant political realignment: at The Hill, Brent Budowsky has concluded that Hillary Clinton just might win all fifty states in 2016 "in an epic, historic and realigning mega-landslide against the party that threatens a Republican default, a Republican economic crash and a Republican government shutdown."
Um, no, Brent.
To understand why this won't happen, consider a story that has nothing to do with the budget mess in Washington:
In an appalling bid to "own" the Dec. 14 anniversary of the Newtown slayings, a coalition of gun lovers has announced plans to declare that horrific date "Guns Save Lives" day.No, this is not a joke. Gottlieb is a legitimate anti-gun control activist; he was briefly in the news in April for boasting that he'd lobbied to make the Manchin-Toomey bill toothless, just in case it got passed (it didn't, of course, but weakiening bills and then ighting to defeat them is the standard gunner belt-and-suspenders approach to any attempt at putting mild restrictions on firearm ownership). The Web site of Guns Save Lives Day is here.
"We are going to use the day to get our views out," said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation. "We don't want (pro gun-control groups) own that day. ... We are gonna be there first."
...Gottlieb, whose two pro-gun groups, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Second Amendment Foundation, led the charge to rebrand Dec. 14, said he and his allies are just responding to gun control groups already politicizing the anniversary....
Join Guns Save Lives Day -- Sign the PetitionGawker directs our attention to this particularly obnoxious item on the site:
No one at Newtown should have been a victim and no one in the future should be victimized by laws that do not allow people to defend themselves.
It's time we start speaking the truth about the dangers of gun control.
Americans are concerned about attempts to erode their gun ownership rights, and for good reason, Our mission with Guns Save Lives Day is to assure them our groups are working day and night to thwart government gun-grabbers at every opportunity. We are going to show America that there is a good side to guns....
Gunners do this sort of thing because they know that there's absolutely no political risk. They saw how obnoxious Wayne LaPierre was in the aftermath of Newtown, and they saw that they won anyway -- a few states made gun laws stricter, but more states loosened them, and the federal effort crashed and burned. Two gun-control legislators in Colorado were recalled. On balance, it was a big win.
Here's the takeaway: Right-wingers can rub the faces of liberals and moderates in the dirt as much as they please, and we will never rise up and punish them severely. At most, we'll rise up and urge them to stop, and maybe they'll magnanimously agree. That may be what's happening with the budget and debt talks now (though who knows whether an agreement will really be reached anytime soon).
But we don't really make the GOP pay an appropriate price at the polls for this sort of thing. And enough of us agree with the right that "both sides do it" (on the budget), or that conservatives are just passionate Regular Americans, while liberals are snooty elitists (on guns).
We have to say "Enough!" We never really do.